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15.10.2019 17:18:36 325x read.
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Report on Outing during Leadership Workshop/ConCon, Maastricht.

Report on Outing during Leadership Workshop/ConCon, Maastricht

12th October 2019

This day was programmed for relaxation and a planned outing. By 09: 00 am, all participants of the workshop and a few other fellow brothers were seated in the luxury bus that was to take us to two tourist attractions in Belgium and Germany. Fortunately the weather promised to be friendly after many days of light and heavy intensity rains of the week.

The first place to visit was an old coal mine in Belgium near the town of Liege called Blegny. On arrival at the mine we were divided into two groups, each with a guide. We were first shown a film of the history and mining activities of the coal mine before each of us was made to dress in a mining gear and helmet, ready to be lowered into the shaft.

The tour took us almost one and a half hours during which we were informed of the history of coal mining over the centuries. We were especially exposed to the narrative of the very difficult and inhuman conditions that men, women, children and even animals, like horses (that never came to the surface again until they died), had to work to bring out the coal from deep underground, day in day out!

Fortunately we did not go so deep down the shaft,  just 30 to 60 meters and we were taken through a tunnel that connected two shafts, which were created to reach thick layers of coal. Listening to the history of this coal mine prompted a great respect for all those miners who risked their lives there only to provide us comfort such as heating of homes, cooking, electricity and many other services. These families and individuals had often no choice as it was the only work available for them to earn wages and look after their families.

Our guide, Bruno, also told us it is unfortunate that this is still happening in places all over the world where people sacrifice their health and long life span to extract these natural resources, in some cases through illegal practices, for these precious minerals to produce goods like cell phones, for example. So we should not forget that slavery, child abuse and other wage abuses still happen in some parts of the world!

 

We had our lunch at the mine canteen after which we went on to the next place of visit namely Monchau in Eiffel (Germany). Travelling in this luxury bus alone offered a pleasant sight-seeing through a very rich woodland in the two countries. Arriving there we went on a small tourist train tour through this friendly looking old, small town which was flooded with tourists from all over Europe. We were given some time to look around the town and came together at coffee time in one of the restaurants to enjoy a famous German apple cake with custard sauce.

 

The day passed quickly and around four o’clock  we left Monchau and went back to Maastricht where we had supper at our country recreation house “ De Schark”. This enjoyable and relaxing day ended with a very nice Indonesian buffet. Thanks to the organizers for this interesting outing. We built up some energies for the last part of our international gathering, the Congregational Conference, in the coming days.

Bro. Wim Luiten.








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